Banana Trail Mix Muffins
Banana Trail Mix Muffins
- ¾ cup walnuts chopped
- ¼ cup (21g) old-fashioned rolled oats
- ¼ cup sunflower seeds
- 6 large very ripe bananas 2¼ pounds, peeled (see note)
- 140 g (10 Tbsp) unsalted butter melted and cooled (might actually be 150g – see note)
- 2 large eggs
- 2 teaspoons vanilla extract
- 2½ teaspoons baking powder Funny story – I made this with only ½tsp by accident. (Kindle put a line break between "2" and "½"). Came out fine.
- 1¼ teaspoons baking soda
- 2 Tbsp milk As needed
For flour, use either
- 190 g plain/all purpose flour
- 36 g corn starch/corn flour
- 224 g (2 cups) ounces cake flour we don't have this in the UK
Required chocolate topping. Not an option. (totally an option)
- 20 g 70% dark chocolate broken up into small pieces.
Can be done ahead of time and set aside in fridge
If bananas are ripe, but not over-ripe – or if like us, you have no microwave
- Preheat Oven to 300F/150C/130C fan. Wash and pat the bananas dry.
- Line the bananas up in a foil lined roasting tin, pierce the skins with a fork
- Roast for 15-30 minutes until black and shiny and liquid is bubbling up through the holes. Remove from oven, and once cool enough to handle, peel and "juice" the skins into a strainer over a bowl and pick up from after the microwave step below. (I like to snip the end of thee banana peel with kitchen scissors, then peel open over the strainer and let it drop out.)
If you have a microwave and your bananas are banana bread level over-ripe.
- Peel bananas and put them in a microwave safe bowl, cover, and microwave until bananas are soft and have released liquid, about 5 minutes.
Everyone meet up here with your warm bananas…
- Transfer bananas to fine-mesh strainer, or a strainer lined with a single layer of cheese cloth and set over bowl to drain, stir occasionally. Leave it to drain about 15 minutes. You should collect about ¾ to 1 cup liquid (180-240ml).
- Move the liquid to a medium saucepan (the idea is to have a shallow layer of the banana juice so it reduces quickly) and plop the bananas into a bowl, if refrigerating until ready to make the muffins (i.e overnight) – pick a bowl that's right sized for the bananas, if moving on to make muffins right away, this should be a medium mixing bowl.
- Cook banana juice over medium-high heat until reduced to ⅓ cup, 8 to 10 minutes. It'll darken up, and when you stir, you'll see the bottom of the pan, it'll take a moment for the liquid to fill back in. If needed, measure from time to time. Pour liquid into the bowl with the bananas and mash with potato masher until mostly smooth.
- If you're setting this aside to make muffins later: cover the bowl, ideally using cling film/plastic wrap in full contact with the bananas, but a cover is a cover, they will brown up overnight. I don't know how long you can let it go, I wouldn't wait more than a day to make the muffins. Take them out of the fridge and bring back to room temperature, then resume with next step when ready.
- Set oven rack to upper-middle or middle position and heat oven to 400F/200C/180C fan. Grease 12-cup muffin tin.
- Toast walnuts and sunflower seeds in dry 12-inch skillet over medium heat for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally before adding the oats and toasting for an additional 3-5 minutes until golden and fragrant. Remove from heat to cool – if you use cast iron, move the mix to a separate bowl to cool or it will continue to toast in the pan.
- Whisk together butter, eggs, and vanilla, add in the banana mixture (or, if doing this in one swoop, whisk the others into the bananas).
- In large bowl, whisk the dry ingredients: flour, baking powder, baking soda, and salt together. Stir in banana mixture with a sturdy spoon (I broke a spatula!) until combined. Add milk if needed to loosen up the batter. Fold in the toasted mixture, the walnuts, oats, and sunflower seeds.
- Divide batter evenly among muffin cups, for me, it filled them completely. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of muffins comes out clean, about 18 to 22 minutes, rotating muffin tin halfway through baking.
- Let muffins cool in tin for 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack and let cool for 20 minutes before serving.
- Once cooled, melt 20g of 70% dark chocolate in a heat proof bowl set over simmering water. Spoon the chocolate over the cooled muffins, let the chocolate set and enjoy.
This is pretty much dead on the America’s Test Kitchen Naturally Sweet recipe. This is the first I’ve tried from that book solid win. When I was mixing up the batter, I thought “something’s not right.. I FORGOT THE ESUGAR!” I had to double check – nope, no added sugar). The batter was quite stiff, so oI added 2 Tbsp milk to loosen it up before folding in “the trail mix”. The biggest adaptations are process related, I did the banana roasting and reducing thee night before baking thee muffins, also, here in the UK, bananas are generally smaller. 10 yielded the amount of banana juice the recipe sites. There was much research and maths to decide “what do they mean by 21/4 pounds of bananas? Is that with peels? There’s a lot of discussion on the web about what percentage of a banana’s weight is the peel… I decided to go with the people who said about 36% 😂
These came out lovely, good texture, moist. Basically perfect. She only eats thee chocolate off the top – but she is very excited about them.
I loved this one for it’s low sugar, I didn’t notice or miss the sugar, great for breakfast muffins. It was indeed labor intensive, but totally worth it in my book. And the house smelled like bananas all day! I couldn’t bare to put a sugar topping no it after all that work, but 20g of my trusty lindt 70% chocolate bar (my go-to for this type of thing) was just right.